Tiger's caddie to return for 2009 season

Tiger Woods and New Zealand's Steve Williams, Woods' caddie, rarely fail to be on the same page, let alone generate any form of controversy. However, Williams made headlines earlier this week after providing a derogatory statement to the Taranaki Daily News attacking American Phil Mickelson.

Williams told the media that he did not view Mickelson as a great player because, as he claims, "I hate the prick."

Believe it or not, this was not a smart move when your supersized paycheck depends entirely on your ability to remain quiet and allow golf's greatest player to maintain his highly marketable image.

Obviously, Woods and IMG, his veteran sports agency, were quick to distance themselves from Williams: "I was disappointed to read the comments attributed to Steve Williams about Phil Mickelson, a player that I respect."

The target of Williams' attack was also willing to respond to his bag-carrying opponent. Mickelson explained, "After seeing Steve Williams' comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me."

Woods later told the press that he would not fire Williams despite the bonehead move. Woods explained, “What ended up happening is I communicated with Phil, and we have discussed it. I talked to Stevie about it, and he feels bad what happened. At this point, that it happened at all is something that none of us really wanted to have happen. But it’s over and done with, and we put it to bed.”

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